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Economics and Policy of Energy and the Environment MSc

This joint MSc with the UCL Energy Institute equips graduates to become sustainability leaders and entrepreneurs in business, policy-making and research.

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Programme overview

As an Economics and Policy of Energy and the Environment MSc (EPEE MSC) student, you will be equipped with the skills and knowledge to become a leader and innovator of business, policy-making and research.

This advanced degree programme is designed to provide a broad understanding of research concepts and methods; environmental and resource economics; modelling, methods and scenarios; environmental measurement, assessment and law; global economics and the political economy of energy and climate change.

All modules are taught by our world-class faculty who have a breadth of industrial and academic knowledge. Recent graduates have gone onto varied and challenging careers at the forefront of industry, research and academia.

The EPEE MSc is a joint programme accross both the UCL Energy Institute and the UCL Institute for Sustainable resources.

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Learning outcomes

As an EPEE MSc student, you will gain a firm grounding across all areas that are vital to the understanding and analysis of environment-energy-economy interactions.

Studying in an interdisciplinary, collaborative learning environment, you will learn, at both an introductory and advance level, about:

Environmental policy and law Economics of the environment and natural resources Issues and challenges of global energy use, including climate change Fields of energy system and econometric modelling Roles that innovation, business, people and society play in the energy system

Student views 

EPEE 2019.20
UCL's Economics and Policy of Energy and the Environment MSc Class of 2019

Cathy Granneman

Through the EPEE course I learned to understand the relation between economic theory, legislation and policy...
Read more...

“I’m currently working as a Sustainability Consultant for CBRE, the largest commercial real estate service company in the world. I advise companies and investors on their sustainability strategies, for compliance, voluntary reporting and risk mitigation. Through the EPEE course I learned to understand the relation between economic theory, legislation and policy, allowing me to explain implications of legislative changes more clearly to my clients. Additionally, I wrote my dissertation on corporate climate change risk in the CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project) and I am now advising a client on their disclosure to the CDP.”


Hiren Mulchandani

I credit the EPEE programme with giving me skills I use daily in my work: modelling and scenario analysis, econometrics and statistical thinking, a broad understanding of climate and power sector policies, and environmental and energy economics which are the foundations for my work.
Read more...

“I currently work as a Senior Analyst in the Commissioned Projects team at Aurora Energy Research Ltd. in Oxford, a role I started after completing his MSc Economics and Policy of Energy and the Environment (EPEE) degree. 

“I credit the EPEE programme with giving me skills I use daily in my work: modelling and scenario analysis, econometrics and statistical thinking, a broad understanding of climate and power sector policies, and environmental and energy economics which are the foundations for my work.

“At Aurora Energy, I use proprietary in-house CGE and power sector dispatch models to provide analytics and consulting advice for British and European power, renewables, coal, oil and gas sector clients. Recent projects have included strategic advice to a major energy company for investing in an emerging economy power market, due diligence for sell-side plant valuations, co-authoring the annual update to the flagship commodities market forecast report, and modelling policy implications for a large UK power asset owner.”


Course structure and content

The EPEE MSc offers a number of both compulsory and optional modules, including a dissertation. 

The MSc in Economics and Policy of Energy and the Environment (EPEE) is a 180-credit programme. You will attend lectures, engage in interactive seminars and benefit from presentations from visiting speakers drawn from a range of businesses and other organisations. You will also be able to attend the wide-ranging seminar series organised by the UCL Energy Institute and other Institutes contributing to the MSc.

A broad range of assessment methods are used, including:

  • Examinations
  • Assessed coursework, including hands-on modelling projects
  • 10,000-word dissertation based on an original piece of research, to put into detailed practice the methods and techniques learnt on the programme

Compulsory modules

    Research Concepts and Methods 

    This module provides students with the essential skills required to commission and critique research, and become critical consumers of secondary data and models using that data. It also prepares students to develop a clear research question and research design, select appropriate methods and samples and undertake a critical literature review – all essential skills for undertaking their dissertations.

    Topics include:

    • Literature review and evidence review methods
    • Evaluating and using secondary data
    • Primary data collection
    • Methodology and measurement
    • Sampling and system boundaries
    • Research ethics, data management and protection
    Environmental and Resource Economics

    This introductory module covers economic theories in relation to the environment and natural resources. The aim is to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the role of the environment and resources in the economy, from an economics perspective, and to give them familiarity with basic concepts of environmental, ecological and resource economics that are used in the investigations into environmental and natural resource issues.

    The module covers the main theoretical approaches in environmental, ecological and resource economics, and it illustrates how these approaches have been used in practice through case studies.

    Topics covered include:

    • Natural science of the economy-resource-environment system
    • Conceptual foundations of economic analysis for policy
    • Externalities and public goods
    • Theory of global environmental policy
    • Regulatory instruments used in environmental policy
    • Macro-economics and the environment
    • Non-renewable resources
    • Renewable resources
    • Growth, sustainability and sustainable development

    Assessment:        2-hour unseen examination (100%)

    Introduction to Modelling, Methods and Scenarios

    Energy-economic modelling is one of the cornerstones of both the public energy policy process and the investment process for private energy firms. This module provides a comprehensive introductory overview of the field of energy modelling that is required by modern economy-energy-environment (E3) analysts, in whatever area (government, consulting, regulatory etc.) that they may be working. Starting from an economics viewpoint, the module aims to enable students to understand the energy modelling process.

    Students will develop an understanding of why energy-economic models are used, how different elements of the economy-energy-environment system can be modelled, how scenario approaches can be combined with models, and how uncertainties are considered. Students will then develop the faculty to critically analyse the applicability and outputs of energy-economic models of all types. The lectures are ordered to start with key energy sectors, and then broadened to include wider economic and physical interactions. In addition to lectures, some optional hands-on sessions in tutorials enable students to explore some simple modelling tools.

    Topics covered:

    • Sectoral modelling
    • Resources and supply modelling
    • Energy systems modelling
    • Modelling energy and the environment
    • Modelling energy and the economy
    • Modelling uncertainty Scenario formulation

    Overview of energy-economic modelling Modelling energy demand Electricity and heat modelling.

    Assessment:  2 x 1500-word essays (each worth half of total marks)

    Examples of Reading Material: 

    Bhattacharyya, S. (2011). Energy Economics: Concepts, Issues, Markets and Governance. London, Springer.

    Environmental Measurement, Assessment, and Law

    This module focuses on assessing whether legal and policy responses to environmental challenges are successful. In order to do this:

    • Environmental outcomes before and after policy change must be measured
    • Laws and legal systems enable and constrain the implementation of environmental policy
    • Effect of policy change has to be assessed before it is put in place and evaluated after it has had time to take effect

    Topics covered:

    • Measurement of environmental benefits and impacts in policy
    • Environmental values and valuation
    • Environmental impact assessment
    • Benefit-cost analysis and discounting
    • Indicators of sustainability and sustainable development
    • Environmental systems and their governance
    • International agreements concerning the environment
    • National legal and policy frameworks concerning the environment
    • Case studies concerning the design of environmental legal and policy frameworks

    Assessment: 2-hour unseen examination (100%)

    Planetary Economics and the Political Economy of Energy & Climate Change

    This module covers international energy issues and challenges, spanning the main energy resources and systems, with emphasis on the interplay of technology, economics and political economy.  It explores:

    • Basic structure and trends of global energy use and the associated challenges of energy in development, energy access, and environment, together with the global structure of fossil fuel resources and the political economy of international oil and gas markets.
    • Heat, electricity and energy efficiency, including the role of non-fossil sources, experience with energy efficiency, and the regulatory dimensions of network-based industries
    • Policy instruments and architectures for trying to transform energy systems

    The overall aim is to provide interdisciplinary understanding of these topics, including the interplay between national and international energy and climate change policies.

    Topics covered:

    • The empirical context of global energy and climate change: some core facts
    • Global fossil fuels: the history and political economy of petroleum and gas markets
    • Electricity and heat: resources, systems and socioeconomics
    • Planetary economics and climate change: economic perspectives on the nature of the problem and the structure of solutions
    • Global fossil fuels and scenarios: who owns what where and how much can be burned under different atmospheric assumptions?
    • Regulation, market and subsidies
    • Political economy of pricing and carbon pricing
    • Energy efficiency: potentials and political economy
    • Energy innovation and investment
    • Coming of Age? The international response to climate change and Paris COP21

    Assessment:        3,000-word essay (100%)

    Examples of Programme Reading:

    Michael Grubb (2014) Planetary Economics: Energy, Climate Change and the Three Domains of Sustainable Development, Routledge

    Daniel Yergin (2012). The Quest: Energy, Security and the remaking of the modern world, Allen Lane

    IEA (2015) World Energy Outlook, IEA

    Stern (2009) A blueprint for a safer planet: How to manage climate change and create a new era of progress and prosperity, Random House

    Ekins, Bradshaw and Watson (eds.) (2015) Global Energy: Issues, Potentials, and Policy Implications, OUP Oxford

    Dissertation

    The dissertation is a core part of the EPEE MSc. The dissertation project is an opportunity for students to put the skills and knowledge acquired during the programme into practice through a piece of original research. Each student works with a dissertation supervisor – a UCL researcher with expertise in the field – and develops a unique project.

    Optional modules

     Students will be asked to choose three optional modules from the following list: 

    • Advanced Energy-Environment-Economy Modelling
    • UK Energy and Environment Policy and Law
    • Energy, Technology and Innovation
    • Energy, People and Behaviour
    • Business and Sustainability
    • Advanced Environmental Economics
    • Econometrics for Energy and the Environment
    • Behavioural Economics and Game Theory for the Environment
    • Energy, Environment and Resources in Developing Countries

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    Scholarships

     The Bartlett Master's Scholarships

    The Bartlett, UCL’s Faculty of the Built Environment, offers 10 scholarships for MSc, MPlan, MRes, MA and MArch students, each worth £10,000, to be used either as partial fee remittance for study or as a bursary to cover living costs.

    Other sources of funding

    There are a range of other scholarshipsloans and other funding opportunities available to help prospective students with their studies.


    Staff

    Programme Lead

    Lorenzo Lotti
    Senior Teaching Fellow in Economics of Energy and the Environment
    View Lorenzo's profile
    Email: lotti.lorenzo.13@ucl.ac.uk

    Programme Administrator

    Tinisha Stewart
    Email: bseer-studentqueries@ucl.ac.uk
    Tel: +44 (0)20 3108 5940

    Other teaching staff

    Paolo Agnolucci
    Associate Professor in Resource and Environmental Economics
    View Paolo's profile
    Email: p.agnolucci@ucl.ac.uk

    Gabrial Anandarajah
    Associate Professor
    View Gabrial's profile
    Email: g.anandarajah@ucl.ac.uk

    Raimund Bleischwitz
    Director of The Bartlett School of Environment, Energy and Resources
    Chair in Sustainable Global Resources
    View Raimund's profile
    Email: r.bleischwitz@ucl.ac.uk

    Paul Ekins
    Director of Institute for Sustainable Resources
    Professor in Resources & Environment Policy
    View Paul's profile 
    Email: p.ekins@ucl.ac.uk

    Michael Grubb
    Deputy Director of Institute for Sustainable Resources
    Professor of International Energy and Climate Change Policy
    View Michael's profile
    Email: m.grubb@ucl.ac.uk

    Ilkka Keppo
    Senior Lecturer
    View Ilkka's profile
    Email: i.keppo@ucl.ac.uk

    Michelle Schipworth
    Lecturer
    View Michelle's profile
    Email: m.shipworth@ucl.ac.uk


    Why choose the UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources?

    The UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources (ISR) has a world-leading research portfolio in the area of sustainable use of resources, economics and the environment. ISR is particularly strong in modelling approaches and analysis related to economics driving use of resources and policies.

    The exciting multidisciplinary programme includes contributions from economics, law, political science, development planning, engineering and the natural sciences as appropriate for a systemic approach to the complex set of elements shaping patter of use and consumption of resources and understanding planetary boundaries, the role of people and governments and new integrative approaches such as the resource nexus and the Circular Economy.

    The programme also offers excellent opportunities for networking with key figures of academia, government and industry. The residential field trip offers a valuable experience and interesting visits to companies and a unique opportunity to strengthen student-staff interaction. Regular seminars are held across UCL and you will be able to undertake industry-focused dissertation projects.

    Students become members of the Sustainable Resources: Economics, Policy and Transitions MSc alumni network and will be invited to attend alumni events and benefit from additional networking opportunities with fellow students.


    Further information 

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